A key border crossing between Afghanistan and Pakistan closed on Wednesday due to a dispute over constructing a new gate, a Pakistani official said.
The Torkham border is currently closed for travellers and traffic due to a verbal clash between border security forces from both countries.
“We are constructing a new gate near the border crossing, and the Afghan Taliban raised objection to the sign board ‘Welcome to Pakistan’,” a Pakistani official at the border said, as cited by Anadolu.
Meanwhile, Pakistani media outlets have stated that the closure of the Torkham border came in response to objections raised by Taliban forces, who installed a sign at the entrance of the crossing. In reaction to this objection, Pakistani border guards closed the crossing.
It is reported that the objection by the Taliban regarding the installation of the sign at the Torkham border crossing led to the subsequent closure of the crossing by Pakistani border authorities.
Taliban officials have also stated that Pakistan has closed this crossing.
Quraishi Baloun, the Information Officer of the Department of Information and Culture in Nangarhar province, said that Pakistani officials have closed the Torkham border crossing in Nangarhar province.
According to this Taliban official, the group opposed the installation of this sign, and as a result, Pakistani border guards closed this crossing.
Pakistani authorities have not made any official statements on this matter so far.
This comes in the context of previous closures of the Torkham crossing for cargo trucks for various reasons, resulting in significant financial losses for traders.
Torkham is the most important border crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan, where hundreds of cargo trucks transport commercial goods daily. The closure of this border crossing has raised concerns among traders.
The Torkham crossing has been closed while the interim government of Pakistan has recently implemented a severe plan to deport Afghan citizens, and thousands of Afghans are being forcibly expelled from the country daily.
The closure of the Torkham crossing comes at a time when Asef Durrani, Pakistan’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, had reported on his meeting with Juliette Walsh-Noyes, Deputy Secretary of State for South and Donald Blome, U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, regarding Afghan migrants.